Meet Mary Kay Andrews!
Mary Kay Andrews is the New York Times best selling author of 29 novels (including The Santa Suit, The Newcomer, Hello, Summer; Sunset Beach; The High Tide Club; The Weekenders; Beach Town; Save the Date; Ladies’ Night; Christmas Bliss; Spring Fever; Summer Rental; The Fixer Upper; Deep Dish; Blue Christmas; Savannah Breeze; Hissy Fit; Little Bitty Lies; and Savannah Blues), and one cookbook, The Beach House Cookbook.
A native of St. Petersburg, Florida, she earned a B.A. in journalism from The University of Georgia. After a 14-year career working as a reporter at newspapers including The Savannah Morning News, The Marietta Journal, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where she spent the final ten years of her career, she left journalism in 1991 to write fiction.
Her first novel, Every Crooked Nanny, was published in 1992 by HarperCollins. She went on to write ten critically acclaimed mysteries under her real name, Kathy Hogan Trocheck. In 2002, she assumed the pen name Mary Kay Andrews with the publication of Savannah Blues. In 2006, Hissy Fit became her first New York Times bestseller, followed by fourteen more New York Times, USA Today and Publisher’s Weekly bestsellers. Her novels have been published in German, Italian, Polish, Slovenian, Hungarian, Dutch, Czech and Japanese.
Tell us about yourself.
I am Mary Kay Andrews, which is a pseudonym. I am a New York Times bestselling author of 29 books now and counting. My most recent book is The Santa Suit, which hit the New York Times Best Seller List at number 10 last week. I write commercial women’s’ fiction and am married to my high school sweetheart, starter husband, of 44 years. I’m a mother, grandmother, Junker, and avid reader.
Why did you decide to do a podcast?
I’m part of a group of multi-published bestselling authors called Friends & Fiction, whose members include Kristin Harmel, Kristy Woodson Harvey and Patti Callahan Henry. During the darkest moments of COVID back in March of 2020, we all had books coming out in the spring and summer of that year, and our book tours were canceled. We were trying to figure out a way to get out the word about our new books, promote our books and also help independent book stores and other authors. We decided to start a Facebook Live Wednesday night webcast called Friends & Fiction. Our first episode was in April of 2020, and we will have our 100th episode this November.
We did not know what we were doing and were really technically inept. In looking to produce a more polished, professional-looking show, we were fortunate to find Audivita. They signed on to do the tech aspect of our webcast. And then we decided to add a podcast.
We had so many guests we wanted to interview and talk to about books, writing and publishing that expanding into a podcast just seemed like the natural thing to do.
How has your podcast helped you so far?
It’s been great and has given us a different platform for appreciation for our books and for what we do. We interview other authors and people involved in the book publishing business.
Today, for instance, I did a podcast with Pam Dorman who has her own imprint at Viking. She’s very successful. She published Jojo Moyes and Bridget Jones’s Diary. And she has her own imprint at a major New York publishing house. She is married to Stuart Krichevsky, who runs the Stuart Krichevsky Literary Agency, and happens to my literary agent.
Our listeners tell us that they love hearing the inside baseball talk about books and publishing.
What success tips do you have for others when it comes to doing a podcast?
Really try to think about who your audience is, and the best way to reach and grow that listener base. We had a very good idea of who our audience was because we had been doing the webcast.
It’s also important to try to come up with interesting topics. Do your research ahead of time. Make sure you know about the guests that you’re interviewing. Do some research on their bios. It’s a good idea to let them know ahead of time what kinds of questions you’ll be asking them.
And of course, it’s always helpful for the quality of the podcast to let them know about the equipment they’ll need to have, whether that’s a microphone or AirPods or whatever the streaming platform asks for. We try to let our guests know that that will give us the best quality recording.
Are there any additional insights that you would like to share with our audience?
I think it’s a good thing to take a look at the metrics of a podcast to see who’s listening and if your audience is growing. And if so, check to see which of your episodes seems to have the best reach. We’re always trying to do that and grow our reach, expand our listenership and bring in some new ideas to the field.